Wednesday, December 31, 2014

{10 NYE Tricks}

Happy NYE!! Does everyone have their dress ready? I had a bit of a freakout moment last night (typical girl fashion) when my roomies and I were all showing each other our dresses and I realized mine is just plain black… it's not a bad thing I was just unable to find some really incredible sequined dress or fabulous detailed dress (which I had really wanted). Sooo I was brainstorming this morning about ways to spice up my look for NYE and thought I would share because I'm sure you ladies need some additional ways to spice up a LBD ;)

1. Big Eyelashes

This is my favorite thing to do for a night out… your best feature is always your eyes or your smile so play it up! Bat those eyelashes to get a midnight kiss ;)

Image via Pinterest

I lone how they used white eyeliner to make the eyes seem even bigger!

2. Red Lip

Need I say more? You guys know that this is my go-to beauty move. I love any bright color but especially a red lip. Like I said earlier… your eyes and your lips are the two best features to play up!

photo by Emily Smalling
Lip color is "Raisin' Rage" by Revlon

3. Sparkle Eyeliner

Why not… It's NYE! This is the perfect time to break out the glitter and sparkle (just don't go over the top and wear sparkle everywhere! Use it sparingly and to make an impact not to turn in to a disco ball.)

4. A New Hairstyle

I always do big curls but have been toying with the idea of an up-do for tonight. I found this inspiration on Pinterest and love how easy it is. Wear a headband and begin tucking your hair up and into it repeating like a crown until you get to the nape of your neck and then finish off with a bun. I love this with a gorgeous back line!

Image via Pinterest

5. Sassy Heels

Just make sure that they're comfortable to dance in!

6. Self Tanner

It's winter, I'm pale, and I'm in a black dress. Yeah. This is definitely in my book of tricks.
I have two favorite brands. This one from Sephora and this one is from Victoria's Secret.

7. Smokey Eyes

I'm horrible at this… Pinterest tutorials are my favorite!! I also loooove following Casey Holmes' YouTube videos!

8.  Big Earrings

The best way to draw instant attention to your face is with some big sparkle.

9. Fresh Manicure

Treat yourself. It's about to be a new year! I love this manicure with the nude color, gold sparkle and pretty gold strips. Being well groomed from head to toe really makes me feel put together. Plus, it's fun being a girl and getting dressed up :)

Image via Pinterest

10. SMILE!

Just have fun really… and take pictures! Last year I barely took any. This year I'm going to be better about taking pictures with my friends. I love looking back on everything from the past year and remembering all of the fun we had :)

WOW has this year flown by… a lot has happened and a lot to come for this lady here y'all! I  can't wait to start 2015 with everyone :) Thanks for following along and supporting me every step of the way. It means more than I could ever put into words! XOXO

Love Always,

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

{post holiday plaid}

Stripes and plaid… look familiar? I'm a sucker for this combo.

Photography by Emily Smalling

I've worn so much red this season that I can't help but to keep craving it in my outfits. I love this scarf because it still feels like the holidays to me without screaming "oh my god Santa! I know him!" hehe I'm still feeling festive and in the Christmas spirit so I lean towards warm and cozy with a lot of rich colors. I actually got my sister this exact scarf for Christmas because I wear mine so often! (I had to wait to post this until after the holidays so she wouldn't know!) It's fun to pair it with stripes but I'm still experimenting with other pattern combos. I guess you could easily say stripes are a neutral in my wardrobe - perhaps because I wear black so often and it just goes with everything? Hmm. Sounds like a 2015 resolution in the making…

I was back at work yesterday and am in the office today. It's so hard switching from vacation mode to work mode that quickly. Especially because I'll be off Wednesday through Friday to celebrate NYE with my friends! Does anybody have fun plans?! We're staying local and have rented out a restaurant! I'm beyond excited!!

Love Always,

Friday, December 26, 2014

{recipe | soft boiled eggs}

Whenever I come home my sister and I always love to eat soft boiled eggs. My dad is from Wales and grew up with this Welsh breakfast. It's always a treat to have him make them for us (especially since I normally do the cooking in the AM). Since the holidays are about family I thought it would be nice to have this week's recipe be a family tradition of mine! They're SO easy to prepare and I'm sure will be a hit with everyone in your family! I especially love that the toast slices are called "soldiers". Well, my Dad calls the little toast fingers that at least ;)

2 Eggs (really as many as you want to eat individually)
2 pieces of toast
butter or margarine
pinch of salt

1. Allow eggs to come to room temperature by sitting in a luke warm water bath for 5 minutes.

2. Bring water to a boil. There should be just enough water to cover the tops of the eggs. Carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water. I've found that a slotted spoon works best. You really need to watch that the eggs don't hit the bottom because this could cause them to break!

3. Let eggs cook in a "rolling boil" (so that they don't bounce around and crack) for 5-6 minutes. NO MORE or the yolks won't be runny when you serve them!

4. While the eggs are cooking - Toast the bread and butter it!

5. Take eggs out with the same slotted spoon. Put them back into the room temperature water for a minute so they aren't too hot to grab and then dry them off and place in the egg cup. Don't let the eggs sit in the water for too long or the yolk will harden.

6. While the eggs are sitting in the water slice the bread into little "soldiers". They should be thin enough so that you can easily dip them into the egg.

7. Smack the top of the egg with the flat side of a knife. Carefully slice off a small part of the top of the egg. Peel away any egg shell that could fall inside your egg.

8. Cut a circle in the egg white revealing the yolk so there is a spot to dip your "soldiers".

9. Serve immediately and enjoy!
The little spoons are helpful to get any egg white out after you eat the yolk. I always put more salt on the egg whites and eat it with the remaining toast pieces :)

Happy day after Christmas! I hope you got everything you wished for and sang Christmas carols to your hearts content :) Thanks for following along with me this year. I'm grateful for everyone taking the time out of their busy day to read a little part of my life. It means so much to have your love and support through all the ups and downs!!!

Love Always,

Thursday, December 25, 2014

{merry christmas}

Merry Christmas, everyone!! I hope you're celebrating with lots of family, friends, pets, and eggnog (or holiday drink of your choice hehe).

photography by Emily Smalling

Red Turtleneck $13 // Old Navy Sweater, sold out (similar $59, similar $20) // Gigi Pants $50 // Leopard Flats, similar $80 // Stella & Dot Renegade Bracelet $59 // DY Bracelet // BaubleBar Gold Cuff $32 // Sephora Lipstick in "Hot Tango" $13

To say I had fun with this shoot would be an understatement! I had to bring a present with me as a prop because it's always fun to pick out wrapping paper and coordinating ribbon to put under the tree. I LOVE Christmas and I couldn't help but layer a bright red turtleneck under this cozy sweater. I normally wear a striped turtleneck with it (layers are perfect for my cold office) but hey, tis the season right?
This red lipstick… I sure hope you guys have just gone out and purchased this color already because I wear it every day. It also lasts foreverrrr! If I don't take it off at night it will still be on the next morning. I love how it matches everything and makes my teeth really white! ;)

christmasjenn on Make A Gif
make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

Alrighty y'all… time to get back to watching my family open their presents! That's one of my favorite parts of today - watching my family open the presents that I picked out for them :) It makes me so happy to make their life a little brighter.
Don't forget to spread some Christmas cheer and help those less fortunate in need. THAT is really what the holiday season is about!

Love Always,

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

{gift guide | stocking stuffers}

Merry Christmas Eve, friends!
I'm sure the presents are wrapped, big bows have been tied, Santa's cookies made, and the stockings have been hung! Oh wait! Speaking of stockings… have you gotten fun things to fill them up for Christmas morning? Now that I'm older my family does fun little gifts in our stockings complete with chocolates and clementines :) Since it's the day before I've come up with some quick gifts and ideas - just run to Target or anywhere similar to grab things under $15!

Does your family have any traditions for today, Christmas Eve? I'd love to hear them!

This post was not sponsored by Target

Love Always,

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

{double the pattern}

My go-to outfit for the winter? Boots, big sweater, black pants, and a scarf!

photography by Emily Smalling

SheInside Scarf ($11) // H&M Sweater ($25) // House of Harlow Necklace ($88) via Rocksbox // Gigi Pants (on sale for $44) // Sam Edelman Boots via Nordstrom (on sale for $130) // Sephora Lipstick in "Hot Tango" ($12.50) // "Younique" Mascara ($29)

I'm sure the majority of you already knew this was my go-to outfit… I wear these pants way too often and talk about white sweaters all the time. But, you know what? It works. I'm comfortable and can walk for miles without getting cold or uncomfortable! This scarf is really what inspired my outfit. I wanted it to take center stage and pull the black and brown together. Extra points because the red matched my nails and lips ;)
This scarf is from SheInside… I ordered it on December 1 and didn't get it until December 20. Okay, full disclosure here y'all. I have ordered from this site before and not been disappointed!! I got this dress over the summer. I guess since it's all coming from China I shouldn't be surprised it took so long (I just got anxious because I ordered some Christmas presents too). The quality of this scarf is fantastic but some of the dresses I ordered were sub-par aka they will not work at all. So moral of the story: proceed with caution and expect the long wait times. Scarves - yes but dresses - no!

I wore this outfit last weekend to explore Old Town Alexandria with my roomies and our guys. There was so much Christmas around us and I couldn't stop smiling!! I think I had stars in my eyes the whole time because I was grinning from ear to ear (it also helped that I was with the boy and my favorite ladies).  We walked all around looking for the perfect place to grab a drink and watch football in the afternoon and then had dinner on the water at The Chart House. I was comfortable for a bar and walking and felt "dressed up" enough for a nice dinner of seafood and red wine.

PS can you believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve?!?

Love Always,

Friday, December 19, 2014

{instagram lately | 12.19.14}

WOW has this week been crazy!!! I sincerely apologize for the lack of posts, y'all. I have been non-stop since last Friday. Between wrapping presents (it takes love and care to wrap everything perfectly and tie a perfect bow), holiday parties, happy hours, work deadlines, white elephant gift searching, etc. it's been hard to find some time to just sit down. I've actually gone to bed once this week and forgotten to eat dinner. The horror, I know! It wasn't a fun morning.
Do not fear though… I've found ways to spread some Christmas and Holiday cheer ;) Mainly through some red lipstick (Sephora - Hot Tango) and reindeer sweaters as seen on my instagram! I figured everyone could use a little inspiration for the last week before Santa comes!

Since it's the holidays I HIGHLY recommend checking my instagram Saturday morning! Ohhh let's say maybe around noon-ish ;) ho ho ho

Fair warning my Christmas sweaters are old and hand-me-downs so I attempted to find super similar ones that I would buy for myself :D

Lipstick // Earrings, old (red tassel version) // Bracelet // Sweater (Fair Isle Version!) // Skirt // Heels

Lipstick // Striped Shirt // Sweater // Necklace (gift) // Pants (similar) // Flats

Lipstick // Turtleneck (I'm wearing a M so that it's longer and looser) // Bracelet // Pants // Boots

Mascara - email me for more information if needed - I'll put you in touch with my girl // Sweater // Mug // Gold Cuff // DY Bracelet // Spike Bracelet

Don't you just love having the excuse to dress festive this time of year? I swear it makes getting dressed for work so much more fun! Plus, when you find a good red lipstick for the holidays I can't help but grin. It's finally gotten me out of my black pants slump (aka comfort zone)!!

Does anybody have fun weekend plans? After 5 weeks the boy is FINALLY arriving to the magical city of DC :) We're going to hang out with my favorite guys Friday and then explore Old Town with my roomies on Saturday. It's going to be great to just go with the flow and see lots of friends. Then next week I'll be in Baltimore for Christmas. YAY!! Who is going home for the holidays? I hope you have lots of time off to relax and enjoy yourself!

Love Always,
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